09/02/09 Florentine Beef Stew

"Chi ha denti non ha pane, e chi ha pane non ha denti." (He who has teeth has no bread, and he who has bread has no teeth.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Eggs with Tomatoes
  -Potatoes with Scamorza
  -Florentine Beef Stew

Enjoy your recipes and the rest of the summer season!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Eggs with Tomatoes

Eggs with Tomatoes
Uova al Piatto con Pomodori


4 large tomatoes
4 eggs
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Pinch of dried oregano
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil.

Cut the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh.

Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with a little salt and place upside down on kitchen paper for about 10 minutes to drain.

Season the insides of the tomatoes with oregano and pepper and divide the olive oil among them.

Place the tomatoes in the prepared dish and bake for about 20-22 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven.

Break an egg into each tomato, return the dish to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with parsley and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Potatoes with Scamorza

Potatoes with Scamorza
Patate alla Scamorza


1 and 1/2 lbs (675 grams) potatoes
1 oz (25 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
7 oz (200 grams) scamorza or provolone cheese, thinly sliced
1 oz (25 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
2 shallots, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper


Cook the whole, unpeeled potatoes in plenty of salted water for about 45 minutes until tender, then drain, peel and cut into 5mm/1f4-inch slices.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter and make alternating layers of potato and cheese slices.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the milk.

Cook for 20 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the shallots and curry powder, season with salt and pepper, mix well and simmer for a few minutes.

Pour the sauce over the potatoes and bake for 15 minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Florentine Beef Stew

Florentine Beef Stew
Stracotto alla Fiorentina


3 carrots
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) lean beef, such as topside
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) pancetta, cut into strips
1 celery stick, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 fl oz (175 ml) red wine
1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) tomatoes, peeled. seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper


Cut a few strips from one of the carrots and chop the remainder.

Lard the beef with the carrot strips and pancetta and rub with salt and pepper.

Tie neatly with kitchen string.

Put the celery, onion and chopped carrots into a saucepan and add the meat and olive oil.

Cook over a high heat, turning the meat frequently, until browned all over.

Pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

Add the tomatoes, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 2 hours.

Remove the meat from the pan, cut off the string, carve and place the slices on a warm serving dish.

Pass the cooking juices and vegetables through a food mill and pour them over the meat. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Berlusconi: "You Know, It Just Came to Me. Eluana Could Have a Child."

Rome - February 6, 2009 - Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Friday that one of the reasons he supported an emergency decree to stop doctors from ending Eluana Englaro's life was because she "could in theory have a child".

"She is not brain dead but breathes in an autonomous way. Her brain cells are alive and send electrical signals and she is a person who could in theory have a child," he said.

"She is in a vegetative state that could change, as has been seen several times," he said.

Eluana, 38, has been in a vegetative state for 17 years since a car crash when she was 22.

The all-knowing prime minister of minestrone to the rescue!

Why do we have the strange feeling that this man couldn't care less of this poor woman's fate? In fact, he doesn't.

It's not a moral question of whether Eluana should continue to live or not. Most of us in southern Italy are in a vegetative state. (Stop by any piazza in southern Italy in the afternoon around 4 pm. You could swear all the old men are comatose.)

It's a question of a chuckle-faced hump in a semi-vegetative state who doesn't know what to say and when.

How did we come to the point of a need for an emergency decree? The President of the Republic, Napolitano, had not signed the law by decree. So, the Italian Cabinet is bypassing him by proposing a Bill that is identical to the original decree. The Bill will be proposed to the Parliament of Berlusconi's monkeys who will approve it immediately.

Is the Bill unconstitutional? Hmmm...could be, your highness.
Well then, "vaffanculo!" We'll just change the Constitution! After all, we have to give the chance to Eluana...to procreate.

It is not enough for us to defend ourselves against the collapse of the economy or deal with the thousands of everyday problems. Living in Italy is exhausting and humiliating for us. The rest of the world is trying to find a way to confront this unbelievable crisis. Our politicians could do the same to help us...

They're breathing in an autonomous way. Brain cells seem alive. You could tell when they wipe the drool and pick fleas off themselves.

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